SONNET 116 - is a sonnet of 14 lines and has a regular rhyme scheme. It ...

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  • SONNET116

    (THEMARRIAGEOFTWOMINDS)

    LetmenottothemarriageoftruemindsAdmitimpediments.LoveisnotloveWhichalterswhenitalterationfinds,Orbendswiththeremovertoremove:Onoitisaneverfixedmark,Thatlooksontempests,andisnevershakenItisthestartoeverywanderingbark,Whoseworth'sunknown,althoughhisheightbetaken.Love'snotTime'sfool,thoughrosylipsandcheeksWithinhisbendingsickle'scompasscomeLovealtersnotwithhisbriefhoursandweeks,Butbearsitouteventotheedgeofdoom.Ifthisbeerroranduponmeproved,Ineverwrit,nornomaneverloved.

    WilliamShakespeare

    WilliamShakespeare

    BACKGROUND

  • OneofthemostfamousofShakespearessonnets.Likeallofthemithasaregularrhymeschemeofthreequatrains(4lineunits)andafinalrhymingcouplet.Becauseitisaboutthenatureoftruelove,itisoftenusedatweddings,althoughitwaswrittentoaman.

    WHATISTHEMEANINGOFTHEPOEM?

    Thefirstquatrainsaysthatthereisnobarriertotheunitingoftwomindsinlove(noticeitsaysmindsnotbodies).Lovedoesnotchangewhenitfindschangeinthebeloved,evenwhenthebelovedleaves.

    Thesecondquatraincompareslovetoafixedpointwhichisunmovedorshakenbyanystorm.Itisalsoseenasafixedstartoawanderingship.Shipsusedtonavigatebythestars.Wecanmeasureitsheightintheskysuggestingwecaninsomewaymeasureitbutitsworthisintheheavensandthereforeamystery.

    ThethirdquatrainsaysthatloveisalivewithrosylipsandcheeksanddoesnotagewithtimebutenduresuntiltheendofTime.

    Thefinalcoupletsaysthatifheiswrongabouttheconstantnatureoflovethenheneverwroteanythingandnooneeverloved,thereforemeaningthathemustbecorrectasShakespeareisawriterandpeoplehavelovedbefore.Heproveshispoint!

    WHATARETHEMAINIDEASANDTHEMES?Themainthemeisloveandhowlove(trueminds)isunchanging,evenwhenitencounterschange.Pureloveinitsidealformisconstant,everlastingandunchangedbytimeandcircumstance.Timeandthepassageoftimedonotalterlove.WHATARETHEMAINASEPCTSOFSTYLEWHICHAREEFFECTIVE?

    Itisasonnetof14linesandhasaregularrhymescheme.

    ItstartswithadirectappealLetmenot.

    Itendswithadefiningcoupletwhichproveshiscase.

  • Twoofthecentralmetaphorsarethatofastarandaship.Thestarsuggestsaheavenlybodytonavigateby,whichalwaystellsseamentherightcourseandashipwhichismorechangeableandsubjecttotidesandweather.

    Timeispersonifiedasabriefaspectoflife:briefhoursandweeks,edgeofdoom

    andsicklescompasssuggestingthecurvedbladeofthesicklewhichwillcutamandownwhenhecomeswithinitscirclecompass.TheGrimReaper(Deathisoftenpicturedwithascythe,alargesickle).LoveontheotherhandenduresforallofTime.

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